More than 50,000 foreign students came to study in China in 2001, bringing the total number of foreign students in the country to 350,000.
The port city of Tianjin, in northern China, attracted nearly 6, 000 foreign students last year, a rise of 50 percent from the previous year. The number of foreign students studying in universities and colleges in Shanghai, east China, exceeded 6,300 last year, five times the figure recorded in the 1980s.
China currently has more than 360 universities which accept foreign students. The students came not only from developing countries in Asia and Africa, but also from developed countries in Europe and America. They major in some 200 specialities.
China's education of foreign students dates back to the 1950s and registered rapid development in the 1990s. Of the foreign students coming to study in China in 2001, a total of 3,500 came for long-term study.
Hu Shikai, a professor with the Tianjin-based Nankai University, said that political stability, economic prosperity and the rapid development of sciences and technologies in China are the main factors for the increasing number of foreign students.
The Chinese government attaches great importance to the education of foreign students. In 2001, a total of 2,100 foreign students were granted with a scholarship from the Chinese government.
(People's Daily February 5, 2002)